"Danielle's way of holding space showed such strong allyship to all bodies as she spoke about her inspiration for teaching yin. As a transgender person I appreciated this very much. She speaks with a truthful tongue and breaks open the dense cultural baggage that we bring into spaces about our bodies and others bodies, especially as we exercise. Instead she encourages us to deeply listen and follow our own wisdom; in a spiritual, liberating and physically healing practice. After her words created room in our minds and in the psychic space, our own deep listening into our internal spaces was powerful. I felt that the invitation to liberate ourselves and each other brought illumination to the heart of yoga as a practice and helped us momentarily reclaim a lost terrain where we experience what we truly are, body, mind and spirit.
As a bodyworker and chinese medicine student, her yin class also offered astounding insights while feeling into the meridians, points, and myofascial trains in my own body during the deep yin yoga stretches. I am a convert to yin yoga now and have my own body as an ongoing teacher!
Otis Bell, Victoria, BC
My experience of the Yin Yoga Immersion was profound and, at the same time, very subtle.
I had no expectations as to how I would feel after a yin session but the day after the first class I awoke feeling deeply changed. It was as though a heavy blanket I had been under was removed – when, I don’t know, it just wasn’t there anymore. The blanket symbolized a sense of heaviness I had been feeling about my life and that morning I felt so much lighter for no logical reason - my material circumstances had not changed but something within had and was radiating a new energy outward.
I believe part of the change was due to the practice we had done the previous evening – a practice which, guided by Danielle’s encouraging commentary and use of imagery, appeared to reach parts of me that needed realigning to the Universal source. Her comment about our feeling that ‘we’re not going to make it’ when in fact, ‘we always make it’ resonated with me and I know my meditation on those simple words was also one of the catalysts for my shift in perspective.
The third day I awoke again with a sense of a deep internal shift and had the same thought as the previous morning that ‘I hadn’t really done much’ in terms of asanas. This was one of my discoveries – the non-intrusive feel of Yin practice belies the depth that it reaches – we are deeply moved in such a loving way, we are able to release what needs to be released effortlessly. Actually a lot had been ‘done’ and probably being able to let go of the ‘I’ in the practice enabled this ‘lot’ to happen.
I found the exploration of bone structure and body types a fascinating revelation which had me re-thinking alignment and understanding that some poses are physically impossible for some people and also that modifying a pose is sensible and required in such cases – not the ‘wimp-out’ that my ego told me it was.
The connection made between trauma and body work was made tangible working through the yin sessions – staying in the moment of finding physical stress and trauma, gently staying in the poses allowing emotional and perhaps spiritual hurts to surface and exit.
I hope my testimonial is not taken as being a dramatic road to Damascus type experience - there was no heavenly choir, I didn’t go into a Hollywood diva meltdown and no aliens descended from above to proclaim me their leader.
What I loved about Yin yoga was the humility of the practice, I guess, and through this humility, it enabled me to allow myself to have a more humble experience which then allowed me to let go of stuff.
And of course, Danielle’s loving and generous approach was all part of the magic of our time at True Self. I would not have been able to attend if the offer of negotiating a trade - bartering skills and products for training – had not been made.
I give thanks to the Universe for the opportunity to participate in the immersion training and ask for blessings of abundance to be bestowed upon Elizabeth from True Self and of course, Danielle.
Danielle is one of the most authentic and passionate yoga teachers I have ever encountered. She balances knowledge and wisdom with humour and lightness in a way that creates space for all students, regardless of their background or experience. This woman brings life and expansion into all her classes, creating spaces for students to dig deeply into the transformative possibilities of this practice.
– Olive Dempsey
Personal Coaching • Group Facilitation • Community Engagement
www.olivedempsey.ca | @OliveDem
Danielle regularly reminds us at the end of class what the meaning of Namaste is — and she embodies this commitment to her students both on and off the mat. As a teacher Danielle both cultivates and shines her divine light on us by bringing levity, gentleness and challenge to our poses and our practices. She also acknowledges the light in each student, making respectful and caring connections with us through our practices. She is an attentive, thoughtful, and authentic teacher, who encourages her students to know their own bodies and their own practice
– J.L, Vancouver, BC
Danielle’s teaching comes straight from herself, and reflects her passionate commitment to yoga. Her sense of humour and easy-going demeanour bely her deep commitment to yoga practice and the knowledge she has amassed while extensively studying this art/trade. Her classes are thus a mixture of fun and playfulness and of serious and determined penetration into ones own body, mind and spirit.
–S, Elementary School Teacher
In yoga there are teachers who look the part and say the right things, and then their are those who live their life according to the principles they teach in yoga; Danielle is one of those teachers who lives her life fiercely and with compassion both on and off the mat. Between her work with Yoga in Action and Shanti Uganda, she is a living example of what some of us are trying to strive to through our practice. She is genuine, compassionate, extremely knowledgable and maintains a great sense of humor when you really need to laugh while you’re struggling in that advanced pose.
The one thing Danielle is really good at is assessing the vibe and the needs of the room. I’ve taken a variety of styles of classes and at different venues with her (from Richmond, to Downtown, to East Van), with people from all kinds of backgrounds, needs, and abilities, and she is always able to cater her style and class to suit the room she’s in. Her yin classes became especially important to my well-being as a stressed out grad student, who also had prior injuries. I’ve seen people with serious injuries and illnesses be able to not only get whatever they need out of her class, but thrive and move down the road to recovery because of her classes. If you are concerned about doing yoga because of that horrible back/shoulder/knee/neck issue you have, Danielle’s yin classes are a great starting point into yoga.
Oh yeah– and she designs great clothes too! Check them out!
Writer, Portland, OR, (formerly of Vancouver, BC).
Transcendental. That is how I would describe yin yoga with Danielle. She takes me there. Her gentle coaxing to ‘come back’ and be present means that a yin class goes beyond just the most fantastic stretch you have ever had. She takes it to a meditative place that stretches and loosens up the worried mind as well.
I have had back problems ever since I was a teenager and as a result most yoga classes don’t work for me. – but yin does. I still have to modify, but Danielle is very supportive and helps everyone find what works best for each unique body. Yin is hard work (both physically and mentally) and continues to be, but after two years of regular practice, I can slip into bliss more easily. I leave class in a daze, feeling high and good and happy and relaxed and loose and at one with myself and the world around me. It’s the best addiction I’ve ever had.
– Jessie Smith, Coordinator, Latin American Studies at Langara College
When I first met Danielle she was replacing my favourite and first yin teacher at a studio I attended regularly. I thought, “I’ll giver her a try, since I love yin, but there’s no way she could be a good as the other teacher. Boy was I in for a surprise. Over the years that I’ve known her Danielle has been more than a teacher to me. She is a mentor, role model, community creator and a friend. Her teaching style is personal, unique, profoundly honest, inspiring, constantly evolving and deeply skillful. I learn something new every time I attend her classes, of which I have attended many. I feel deeply blessed to have Danielle in my life and I would recommend her classes to pretty much anyone
– Andrea MacDonald RYT
Danielle is everything I am looking for in a yoga instuctor. She is calming, grounded which immediately puts me in the right mind set to start my practice. Her words are beautiful, meaningful and inpirational. I love that she teaches based on tradition, but also incorporates modern elements of all the 8 limbs of yoga. I am filled with gratitude each time I finish a class with Danielle because of the effect her teachings and the power of yoga have on my body, mind and spirit.
– Rachelle Girardin
Danielle’s style is very laid back ( of course..yin!) . Before the class starts, she personally walks around to every person and asks them if there are any injuries or anything significant that she needs to know to make the class safe for each person. That’s a nice touch. Most teachers just say, ” Come and talk to me if you have any injuries or what not”
Danielle has the most soothing voice…gentle…feminine…makes you feel instantly relaxed. She starts with the 3 OM’S and get’s us to sink into our bodies…..slow and gentle….every pose, she explains the energy meridians that are affected…she has a sweet humor to her and lets us know which poses are the ones that are most opt for farting and burping and to just LET IT GO! if it happens at all!
She always reads something out of a book that she thinks we will find profound or wise… She gives us options on how to get out of the pose… She gently re-directs and praises easily.. She reminds us to be patient, and gentle with ourselves… She walks around and while we are deep breathing in a pose, she lets us get a waft of lavender essential oil….nice touch!
– Dr. Tanya Gee. Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor-
Danielle Hoogenboom changed my life. There is really no other or better way to put it. I took my first Yin yoga class with Danielle on December 16, 2010, and the rest is history. I knew right away that I found my yoga teacher. She checked in with everyone personally to see how they were feeling, why they were there, if they had any injuries, and what areas of their body they wanted to work on. She spent time explaining the philosophy and purpose of Yin yoga practice and how she approached it and what to expect. It was surprisingly challenging, but most importantly, a revolution for my body and mind. I felt so good afterwards; my hips and upper thighs never felt so open.
When I came to Danielle, I was and still am at the beginning of a long journey of physical rehabilitation. I was nervous to do anything physical, but I also knew if I didn’t start that very day it would be too late for me if I waited. But I did start and for the last coming on two months, I have been transformed, in large part due to Danielle and her Yin and Vinyasa yoga teachings.
Danielle’s classes are like one long warm embrace that you do not particularly want to end. Her focus on alignment, breath, form, and self-confidence has helped me learn about and experience so much in my body and mind that I never could have expected possible. I expect she has that effect on all of her students and friends. Three words: cat butt scratch! You’ll have to take a class with her to find out more about that one.
– Jessica Roberts-Farina